Wildlife Spotting In Fethiye – Caretta Caretta Loggerhead Turtles

I’ve always been rubbish – or unlucky – at spotting wildlife. As everyone else stops to point and ‘Aww’ and ‘Wow’, I crane my neck to see what’s going on and whatever it is that’s causing the awe and wonder decides it’s time to disappear again, leaving me to hope it decides to make a reappearance at some point. In the past, we could be walking along the harbour or just about to set off on a boat trip and someone would just shout, ‘Turtle!’ By the time I’d worked out which direction everyone was pointing in, it was, ‘Oh, you missed it. It’s gone now.’

And so, after three summer holidays in Fethiye and four years of living here, listening to other people’s tales of how they see turtles all the time and ‘I can’t believe you’ve never seen one,’ I finally caught sight of my first Caretta caretta (loggerhead turtle) two years ago. I was like a kid, jumping up and down and trying to get my camera out. I think everyone who sees them, falls in love with them straight away. They’re just so amazing to watch and once you’ve seen one, you seem to spot them all the time.

loggerhead turtles Turkey

Catching sight of a turtle in Fethiye harbour

We watched two of them splashing around in the harbour in Fethiye last year. It looked like a keen male was after a little bit of fun with the not so keen female and a bit of internet research has told me this was probably the case. It’s a wonder any eggs are produced and laid at all – I think the males must be determined little chappies because this lady was just having none of it.

Anyway, I mentioned the other day about the Çalış Beach clean up with the aim of removing the big, sharp rocks to make it easier for the turtles to lay their eggs. Yeahy. I can honestly say I’ve never seen a loggerhead on the beach or anywhere near it – because I’m a rubbish wildlife spotter as I said, and I don’t really spend a lot of time actually on the beach.

The best place to see them for me has been in the harbour in Fethiye. If you sit yourself on the harbour near Iskele Restaurant over the summer period, you’re bound to see one swimming around at some point. Really slow and graceful, they are.

Protecting Caretta Caretta in Southwest Turkey

Caretta caretta are officially on the endangered list and slowly, slowly, there’s more awareness about protecting them in this area of Turkey. They need human help – as there is a lot of human fault that’s put them on the endangered list in the first place – so if you do manage to see a loggerhead turtle in Fethiye, lucky you. You’ve seen an endangered species and it’s an amazing sight.

loggerhead turtles Turkey Fethiye

Turtles are rehabilitated in Iztuzu, close to Dalyan

We read in one of the local newspapers last October about a rescued turtle being released back into the wild from Iztuzu Beach near the small town of Dalyan. We decided to go along just on a whim to see what was going on up there. It’s fabulous place and we shot a video of the turtle being released so I’m going to attempt to upload that for tomorrow’s post. (If it doesn’t work, I got loads of photos too and I can get the video onto the Facebook page)

That day was probably my highlight of living in Turkey so far…

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  1. “It looked like a keen male was after a little bit of fun with the not so keen female and a bit of internet research has told me this was probably the case.”

    This is giving me flashbacks to past relationships.

    Great post, I hope you can post more pics of the turtles. I’ve never seen one up close before.

  2. Hopefully a video tomorrow, if it works.

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